While in Dixie National Forest, I got a wild hair. My boys, the St. Louis Cardinals, were coming to play in Denver. I asked a friend if they would be interested in meeting me. After scrambling to buy tickets and finding a place to camp, I started making my way toward Denver. I took a few photos along the way. I also posted a video after the photo gallery.
It turned out that one of the couples that I met at the North Rim area, Bruce & Char, were going to the same area as I was after leaving the North Rim – Dixie National Forest in Utah. I asked if they would mind if I camped near them & they graciously agreed. (My friend Penny had originally told me about this area and suggested it would be a good cool, high elevation place to stay while I visited nearby Bryce Canyon and Zion. She thought I would like the area, too, and she was absolutely right. Thanks, Penny!) Bruce & Char found a nice spot on Strawberry Ridge Rd (FR239) with cell reception. I camped a stone’s throw down from them. At this spot, we were 33mi from Cedar City, 44mi from Bryce Canyon, and 43mi from Zion, so it’s a very nice central location. Temperatures were great (late July/early August). The road in was slightly rough but not too bad. There was a fair bit of traffic from razors, side-by-sides, etc., but I’ve seen much worse. No services but dumpsters at Navajo Lake are open to dispersed campers – 8mi away. Water, etc., is a bit tougher. A few amenities are probably available at Duck Creek Village but I’m guessing they are expensive. I arrived in the area all stocked up, and I also made a trip to Cedar City.
My next route took me through the extremely desolate–and grand–Northern Arizona/Marble Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs area on my way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Highways 89 & 89a). I tried not to think about how bad it would be to have car trouble in this particular area. The 100+ temperatures on this trip were the hottest I had experienced so far in my travels. Climbing to the higher altitude of Jacob Lake, my initial camping spot, brought welcomed cooler weather. I decided I liked the Canyon’s North Rim better than the South Rim. It’s much less crowded and still quite beautiful. And the approach to the entrance is, in my opinion, much prettier.
I decided to break up my drive to the Grand Canyon North Rim with a stop in Flagstaff. After three tries at known locations–and a fair bit of driving–I decided that all the nearby national forest was closed to camping due to fire concerns. So, this was one of my very few nights finding an overnight spot in “civilization” that wasn’t a campground. I can’t exactly call it “stealth” because, well, I can’t exactly get away with that while pulling a solar-covered cargo trailer. On this and previous Flagstaff visits, I had passed by a hospital/medical complex. This time, I had noticed an older Class A and even a unhitched cargo trailer in the parking lot, so I decided to give it a try for the night. I arrived after work hours and noticed the Class A even had a solar panel set up on the ground. I had no issues during my stay–even though I didn’t leave until after some employees started arriving for work the next morning. Just a few photos from the secondary road I took to Flagstaff. More info in captions.
As I mentioned before, my friend Bobbi introduced me to the White Mountains of Arizona, so I decided to camp there next. It was really beautiful there and my stay there had several highlights, but what I caught in this video stood out. (Many more images in the next post).
I was kindly invited to spend some time at a friend’s property near Show Low, AZ. One day, my friend Bobbi invited me to go kayaking to the southeast of Show Low. It turned out to be an exceptionally beautiful day with a blue sky and puffy white clouds. After we kayaked, Bobbi gave me a driving tour of the area. This was eye-opening for me because I had no idea Arizona had any landscape like this. Also, “note to self”: Never go anywhere with Bobbi without my camera. We saw all this amazing scenery and I had only my phone with me (which does not take good photos). It all turned out OK, however, because I was so impressed with the area, it became my next camping spot. (Added two videos at the bottom of the post).